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2018 Annual Report

Category: Media Releases: Company

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Musica Viva looks back proudly on a remarkable year with today’s announcement of its 2018 results.

In 2018, the company expanded its reach even further, presenting 2,798 events featuring 308 musicians - 89% of them Australian - to more than 388,000 people. This included over 290,000 students through Musica Viva In Schools, half of them in regional areas.

‘As a part of the long-planned leadership renewal, Mary Jo Capps AM stepped down as CEO at the end of 2018,’ says Musica Viva Chairman Charles Graham. ‘She was replaced by Hywel Sims, whose promotion was met with widespread applause. We were also thrilled to bolster our management team with the appointment of Anne Frankenberg as Deputy CEO, and most recently with the introduction of Paul Kildea, who will succeed Carl Vine AO as Artistic Director later this year.’ 

‘Perhaps the greatest compliment we can pay Mary Jo and Carl is our 2018 report, which describes a flourishing company,’ he adds.

Musica Viva continues to demonstrate strong stewardship of funds, with an operating surplus of $362,754 in 2018. This was generated 48% through box office, 25% in government support, and 27% through generous donors, foundations and corporations. ‘As well as security, this provides a strong platform from which to invest in the future of music,’ says Graham. 


‘For many Australian children, Musica Viva In Schools was the only formal music education they received last year,’ he continues. In 2018, the program reached 291,063 students, a 6% increase on 2017. 
With the help of dedicated supporters, Musica Viva was proud to reach communities as remote as Croker Island, 200km northeast of Darwin, and as small as Wyangala Dam Public School - home to just five students in regional NSW. 

With 12 groups already touring the country, Musica Viva In Schools premiered three new programs in 2018: ‘Da Vinci’s Apprentice’, ‘Water, Water Everywhere’ and ‘Wyniss’ – an ensemble from Müa Island in the Torres Strait. 

‘Our commitment to digital education also took a leap forward with the introduction of Musica Viva Classroom, a unique suite of resources and online professional development courses for teachers,’ adds Graham. 

‘We look forward to continuing our collaboration with ensembles and arts organisations of all sizes and genres, and to expanding our work with government and corporate partners nationally to support Australia’s growing music community.’


In July 2018, 56 of the world’s leading young chamber musicians gathered to compete in the eighth Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition (MICMC) under the artistic direction of Wilma Smith. The first MICMC to be produced by Musica Viva (in association with strategic partners Melbourne Recital Centre and the Australian National Academy of Music), the event exceeded attendance and artistic expectations. 


‘The education of our youth and the ongoing contentment of our music lovers remain the two pillars driving Musica Viva to excel,’ says Artistic Director Carl Vine AO, who curated another winning mix of mainstage concerts in 2018.    

Highlights of the International Concert Season ranged from young superstars Avi Avital, Ray Chen and Joyce Yang to eminent clarinettist Sabine Meyer, the legendary Borodin Quartet, the immersive magic of Tafelmusik and the all-star Benedetti Elschenbroich Grynyuk Trio. 

The Coffee Concerts in Sydney and Melbourne continued to delight, while Musica Viva Sessions found an appreciative new audience in Adelaide. Further afield, the Huntington Estate Music Festival celebrated classics, food and wine in Mudgee, while the Regional Touring program brought music to over 9,000 fans. 

To crown an exceptional year, world-renowned pianist Sir András Schiff made his first visit to Australia in more than two decades, appearing in two exclusive Gala Recitals in Sydney and Melbourne.
Musica Viva’s Emerging Artists Program also continued to shape the future by providing masterclasses, workshops and the FutureMakers program for the next generation of musical leaders. 

 ‘None of this would be possible without our remarkable artists and audience members, our expert teams or our many volunteers across Australia,’ concludes Graham. ‘Musica Viva was created by passionate individuals who are still amongst our major supporters. We thank them for their dedication to this amazing institution as we head into our 75th year in 2020.’ 

Read Musica Viva’s 2018 Annual Report.


• 308 artists were engaged, 89% of them Australian. 
• 2,798 events attracted 388,621 people nationally.
• 291,063 school students were reached through 2,485 Musica Viva In Schools events.
• 13,636 teachers received training to help them teach music in the classroom.
• 78 regional events were presented through the Regional Touring program, reaching 9,431 audience members.
• Over 30 Australian works were programmed, including six new commissions across the mainstage programs.
• Two Australian works were created for MICMC and performed by all groups in each category (String Quartet and Piano Trio).
• Music by women featured strongly, with three substantial new Australian commissions alongside existing works by female composers throughout the year.